Morning Business Report

Oct 31, 2011 7:49am

Thirteen point 6 percent: That’s the gain so far this month for the Standard and Poor’s 500 stock index. October is still on course to be the strongest month for the major averages in about 35 years. Futures are down this morning, and the markets are expected to open lower.

But October has been anything but a scary month for investors. Europe’s debt deal helped raise investors’ hopes, despite many concerns about the details of the agreement. Earnings are also a plus. So far, 70 percent of large corporations to report have beaten third-quarter profit estimates.

Out of the frying pan into the fire for Jon Corzine. The former New Jersey governor returned to Wall Street after losing his re-election bid. Now MF Global, the commodities and derivatives trading company Corzine runs, might file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to published reports, the company has been trying to sell itself. MF Global made big bets on European government bonds and made big losses.

A platinum handshake for the boss of Nabors Industries. Eugene Eisenberg is being paid $100 million cash to step down as CEO of the oil-drilling company. He will keep his job as chairman.

Credit unions are on a roll. The furor over rising bank fees is prompting many consumers to consider switching their accounts. The National Association of Federal Credit Unions reports a big increase in website traffic to its online credit union locator. A Facebook page is calling Saturday, Nov. 5, bank transfer day, urging customers to transfer their accounts from big banks to avoid new fees.

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